Dangerous Trend: Abusing "Bath Salts"
Officials in 25 states are growing concerned about alarming numbers of adolescents and others ending up in emergency rooms and mental hospitals after intentionally snorting, injecting or smoking "fake cocaine," a powder legally sold as "bath salts," and are proposing bans. Florida became the second state in the nation to ban the drugs in late January.
Sold at gas stations and specialty shops under such names as Ivory Wave, Red Dove, Bliss and Vanilla Sky, law enforcement officials and poison control center staff say the effects of the stimulants the powders often contain (mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV) are a central nervous system stimulant that is not approved for medical purposes in the United States, and provide for users a cocaine-like high.
The chemicals in these bath salts can cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid and irregular heartbeats and suicidal thoughts, authorities say.
Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi cited disturbing reports of violent drug users "with superhuman strength" in banning the so-called fake cocaine. Abusing these bath salts has sent dozens of users to emergency rooms and mental hospitals in recent months, according to authorities.